Penn Dermatology Mission

The mission of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania is to serve as a leading intellectual center for understanding and treating all aspects of skin and its diseases through excellence in patient care, education, and research.

First Dermatology Clinic in Philadelphia

Known as “Philadelphia’s first skin specialist,” Dr. Louis Adolphus Duhring received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1867, interned at the Philadelphia Hospital, and received further training in Vienna, Paris, and London.

In 1871, Dr. Duhring opened The Philadelphia Dispensary for Skin Diseases to educate the medical community and the public in understanding the importance of dermatology in the diagnosis of systemic disease.

Penn Dermatology History: First in the United States

In 1874, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania opened, and Dr. Duhring founded the nation’s first Department of dermatology. Dr. Duhring further developed dermatology as a unique specialty through scientific exploration and discussion of skin diseases. In 1876, he founded the American Dermatological Association. In 1897, Dr. Duhring was appointed Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and became one of the earliest professors of skin disease in America.

The Legacy Continues Today

Dr. Duhring set the foundation for Penn Dermatology to develop and to grow into its present world-renowned stature. Penn Dermatology has produced more national and international professors of dermatology than any other American dermatology department. We carry forward Dr. Duhring’s great legacy of mentoring, training, and producing outstanding scholars and clinicians in dermatology.